Fifth of Irish people depressed, stressed or anxious during coronavirus lockdown
A fifth of Irish people are suffering from post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety as the coronavirus lockdown continues.
Researchers from Ulster University, Trinity College and Maynooth University in Dublin, Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Sheffield surveyed 1,000 people in the Republic almost three weeks after the first coronavirus restrictions were introduced and two days after a full lockdown was announced.
Initial results suggested that mental health problems have become common during the pandemic.
Around 41% of people reported feeling lonely; 23% reported clinically meaningful levels of depression; 20% reported feeling anxious, and 18% reported experiencing post-traumatic stress.
Dr Philip Hyland of Maynooth University said women were experiencing higher levels of depression and men were suffering higher rates of post-traumatic stress.
Dr Hyland said those who reported feeling lonely “were most likely to experience adverse mental health problems”.
“We also found that younger people, those who have a tendency to think in catastrophic ways, those who fear being infected by COVID-19, and those who have had someone close to them infected by COVID-19 are at a higher risk of mental health problems,” he said.
People who took part in the survey were asked about their attitudes to a possible coronavirus vaccine.
Dr Frédérique Vallières, Director of Trinity College’s Centre for Global Health, said he was concerned that only 65% of people surveyed said they would accept a vaccine for themselves and their children.
“A better understanding of why people might be hesitant to accept a COVID-19 vaccine, if and when it is developed is required,” she said.
Researchers will hold a second survey before May 5 to examine what effect prolonged quarantine and physical distancing measures have on people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Dr Hyland said: “The social and political context of the present crisis is unique and the mental health consequences of this pandemic need to be properly understood to ensure the nation’s swift return to normal functioning when it is safe to do so.”
Fred just strolling along within his 2 km radius met an elderly lady who was let out of hospital last Wednesday. She is 78 years old, lives alone in a top floor flat in a Georgian property, where there are no remaining tenants. Naturally after many weeks in hospital and particularly now as restrictions apply to her, Mary has had Panic attacks and is reliant on social services for support. Mary’s GP retired before Christmas, so this leaves her in a most Vulnerable position. When she phoned for help, none came? Alone, thankfully, the Charity for the Elderly, brought her food.
A friend who is treated for anxiety and who grasped Mary’s fear phoned a female GP and explained Mary’s situation. What came next is Cruelty in my opinion. Mary cannot go to a GP especially now because of the coronavirus COVID-19. The hospital on her release did not take note that she had no GP or that she may have an anxiety attack and provide her with some medication. The irony is when Mary phoned a local GP who has a walk in Surgery advert, she was told there could be no visit and the doctor was not prepared to send a prescription to the chemist to give her 2.5 mg of Xanax. What is this GP actually doing in the office, looking after her fee paying patients no doubt? We need more Compassion here, this is our Vulnerable elderly (Mary has a medical card). Not all GP,s are behaving like this, but we need to understand people are drinking a lot more indoors, and suffering from extreme Anxiety like Mary.
There must be a Collective fight against this terrible Virus, we need Compassion and Understanding. Most of us know you can buy Valium online, you can also buy it sourced from Gangland but trafficked through children known as runners on the streets, towns and villages on the Island of Ireland. We need to make provision for a cohort of people who may not know the ropes of being ill, Mary had never been ill before so hospital was a totally new experience for her and she was there over one month. We are Duty Bound to ensure that vulnerable people are adequately provided for. There has been no mention of a community nurse calling to see her on a regular basis either. Basset hounds are fortunate beings – stress, anxiety or even depression rarely applies. We take life slowly and we sleep a lot. COVID-19 means nothing to us. We live in a timeless zone revolving around food, sleep and walks.
Just a little bit of advice for those who are struggling with mental health issues, TCD Professor Dr Brendan Kelly was interviewed recently and he knows what he is talking about. He has even written a book to cater for all of the COVID-19 casualties to fear, anxiety, depression, alcohol and drugs. Please share. What is NORMAL now? Embrace change is a good place to start. You cannot change situations or other peoples’ way of thinking but you sure can change your attitude to what is happening and how to approach them. Short tempered spats of hostilities are eased if one person can just engage with Tolerance and let time pass.
‘We have to live with anxiety’:
Written and published in 10 days, a new book wants to help people cope with our new reality. Cost is One Euro and it goes to charity. Fred is a little bit of a luddite so he can’t work out how to download the book yet.
TCD professor Dr Brendan Kelly has written a book on protecting your mental health during Covid-19. https://www.thejournal.ie/coronavirus-mental-health-trinity-book-5058296-Mar2020/
Addendum: Never forget the power of altruism to move away from being self obsessed. Altruism is about for the betterment of others: there are many approaches that we can include this in our rigid coronavirus COVID-19 entrapments. Today’s emails included this piece of positive information: Just check out the performance of the worlds most sanctioned countries from Cuba to Venezuela BUT IT IS VIETNAM THAT WE SHOULD BE RECOMMENDING. https://popularresistance.org/sanctioned-countries-are-now-leading-the-world-in-the-fight-against-coronavirus/
If this is happening in relation to mental health in the US, then Ireland, we need to be on the alert. Be watchful of friends, neighbours, people you meet even though you must have a 2 m distance they may need a few words of compassion or an act of kindness. To mention one: Tonight a bar man from Hanlon’s pub (Phibsborough) in Dublin thought of one of his customers who lives in Cabra. Knowing the man really enjoyed his pint especially on a Friday night, the barman brought it to him. Random acts of kindness are powerful too. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/apr/24/mental-health-coronavirus-lockdown-helplines?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlVUy0yMDA0MjQ%3D&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=GTUS_email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUS